The first development of the “Plans de Déplacements Urbains” (PDUs) – the French Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan – followed the adoption of the Loi des transports intérieurs (Law on domestic transport; LOTI) in December 1982. This law stipulates the goal, general objectives and orientations of the PDUs. The general goal of a PDU is to ensure a sustainable equilibrium between the needs for mobility and accessibility with the protection of the environment and health. The Loi sur l’air et l’utilisation rationelle de l’énergie (Clean air and rational use of energy law; LAURE) of December 1996 made it obligatory for all agglomerations with more than 100,000 inhabitants to develop a PDU.
Transport authorities in agglomerations with less than 100,000 inhabitants may choose to develop a PDU on a voluntary basis. Several such authorities have chosen to do so; others have developed similar documents, although they were not legally obligated to do so (e.g. Schéma de Déplacement Urbain, or Politique Globale de Déplacement). CERTU – the French Centre for the Study of Urban Planning, Transport and Public Finances states that in 2012, 60 out of 90 compulsory PDUs were approved. In addition, in smaller agglomerations (< 100,000 inhabitants), 30 voluntary PDUs and another 50 simplified plans have been drafted.
The Loi solidarité et renouvellement urbains (solidarity and urban renovation law; SRU) of December 2000 reinforced the PDU as an urban mobility planning instrument. This legislation enlarged the number of mobility issues to be dealt with, and also made it a reference document for mobility, urban development, social cohesion and environmental protection. Therewith, the PDU changed from a “simple” forward-looking document into an integrative programming document of infrastructures and accompanying measures.
The law also imposed the inclusion of a more detailed financial plan and a calendar for the integrated actions and activities. Finally, the law requires an evaluation and review of the PDU at the latest five years after the final approval of the plan. Most metropolitan authorities have set up a PDU observatory that annually evaluates the progress made in the realisation of different PDU activities. The PDU should also be compatible with a range of other plans and strategies such as those on urban development, on air quality and climate protection, on territorial development, on higher level transport and road development schemes, on access for the disabled and the equality act and on mobility management/commuter plans. An interesting new development is that the “Law Grenelle 2” (2010) imposed the requirement to measure CO2 levels before the implementation of a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan and again after five years. This evaluation supplements the 2005 regulation that obliges an environmental impact assessment to be carried out during the elaboration of a PDU.
Source: Rupprecht Consult, based on: Plan de Déplacements Urbains: Panorama 2009, GART, Paris, April 2010. Les Plans de Déplacements Urbains, Bilan et Perspectives, GART, Paris, 2005. Transport public et déplacement dans les schéma de Cohérence territoriale, Actes du colloque organisé le 13 septembre 2005, GART, Paris, 2005. Loi Handicap: 1 an après, Conférence de presse, Phillippe Bas, Ministère délégué à la Sécurité sociale, aux Personnes âgées, aux Personnes handicapées et à la Famille, 9 February 2006. AUCAME, le Plan de Déplacement Urbain (PDU), Que savons nous, N°27, Caen, October 2010. PDU. The French urban mobility plan – integrating transport policies: CERTU Fact Sheet 2012/73, author Nicolas Merle, CERTU. 30 years of sustainable urban mobility plans (PDU) in France: CERTU Fact Sheet 2013/23, author Nicolas Merle, CERTU.